Jean Paul's Blog

There are 2 types of People in the World, One who Likes SharePoint and..

  • Microsoft MVP

  • MindCracker MVP

  • CodeProject MVP

  • eBook on SharePoint 2010

  • eBook on Design Patterns

  • eBook on Windows Azure

  • NLayers Framework @ CodePlex

  • MSDN Forums

  • .Net vs. Java

    Due to Public Demand
  • Advertisements

SharePoint 2013 – Online vs. On-Premise Comparison

Posted by Paul on June 3, 2014

What all things we should keep in mind while choosing between SharePoint Online or On-Premise?


Global Reach

Online provides global access. Thus we can easily share site resources between customers, vendors, contractors.

On-Premise requires public hosting to achieve this.

Internet Connectivity

Online requires Internet connectivity to actively work.  Slow Internet Connections & Offline situations can really affect your work, unless you have a proper offline work plan.

On-Premise does not raise this problem.

Site Administrator

On-Premise comes with a necessity to hire an Administrator to make the On-Premise infrastructure smooth & running.

Online have dedicated Microsoft Support Staffs & the costs are inclusive in the subscriptions.


Online enables more availability compared with On-Premise.  Plus, we have the luxury to call Microsoft Support for emergency situations.


If you have good internet speed, the Online version should not impose any delays in site access, document uploads / edits.


On-Premise comes with limited capacity & the company needs to hire resources & infrastructure to scale up.

Online supports easy scalability by increasing subscription cost.  Cost as well as Time should be an advantage here.


Site Collection count, maximum size, user count etc. varies for Online & On-Premise systems.

On-Premise allows flexibility of increasing upload sizes through configuration changes.  Online does not allow so.


On-Premise imposes no-traffic restrictions.  Please confirm Online traffic-restrictions as per your need.


On-Premise provides easier Synchronization of your local user directory infrastructure like Active Directory.

Online requires separate user-creation & probably a managing or synchronizing infrastructure.

Backup & Restore

Backup & Restore flexibility differs in Online & On-Premise systems.

Please consider this factor while choosing.

Custom Solutions

Online exposes more restrictions to custom solutions including Apps, Server Object Model, Farm solutions etc.  Additional limitations on My Site master page, Feature Stapling etc.

On-Premise enjoy more freedom & flexibility here. 

Sandboxed Solutions

Sandboxed Solutions will have Quota Limits & It is hard to change these limits on Online, till date.

IIS Limitations

Like On-Premise the IIS items & configuration files are not accessible in Online. 

Custom Managed Paths

Custom Managed Paths are not allowed in Online.


Search Crawl Schedules & Programming against Content Sources are limited in SharePoint online.

External Application Hosting

On-Premise provides flexibility of hosting custom solutions & timer jobs within the host machine.

Online does not provide these & we need to add extra infrastructure for this.

External Systems Integration

Online imposes more restrictions on external system integrations through External content type, BCS, Content Sources etc.


On-Premise provides more freedom for Branding customizations.


On-Premise provides extensive PowerShell support.

Online imposes restrictions on the available PowerShell cmdlets.


On-Premise provides flexibility in turning the end storage as RBS or custom.

Online does not allow so.

Document Management

Records Center not available in Online.

Business Intelligence

PowerView, PowerPivot, Dashboards, KPI features vary on On-Premise & Online editions based on subscriptions.

Please ensure your use case mappings are met.

One Drive Pro

OneDrive Pro for business is supported for Online.  This handles the offline problems of SharePoint Online to an extent.

In On-Premise separate configuration & synchronization is needed.

Office Web Apps

Online supports Office Web Apps which allows viewing & editing of Office documents.

On-Premise requires separate license & configuration to allow this.  Typically, On-Premise users goes with Office desktop applications.


Online have more restrictions on Social & Collaboration features like activity feed, tagging, forums etc.


Translation services are up & running in Online.  For On-Premise we need to setup & configure.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s